It’s perfectly natural for fear and doubt to creep into our minds at times. “What if heaven isn’t real after all?” “Is Jesus the only way to God?” “Will it matter in the end how I lived my life?” Questions like these should not be given quick or trite responses.
John the Baptist, whom Jesus called the greatest of the prophets (Luke 7:28), had questions shortly before his execution (v.19). He wanted to know for sure that Jesus was the Messiah and that his own ministry had therefore been valid.
Jesus’ response is a comforting model for us to use. Instead of discounting the doubt or criticizing John, Jesus pointed to the miracles He was doing. As eyewitnesses, John’s disciples could return with vivid assurances for their mentor. But He did more—He used words and phrases (v.22) drawn from Isaiah’s prophecies of the coming Messiah (Isa. 35:4-6; 61:1), which were certain to be familiar to John.
Then, turning to the crowd, Jesus praised John (Luke 7:24-28), removing any doubt that He was offended by John’s need for reassurance after all he had seen (Matt. 3:13-17).
Questioning and doubting, both understandable human responses, are opportunities to remind, reassure, and comfort those who are shaken by uncertainty.
And darkness hides the Savior’s face,
His love and truth still hold me fast
For He will keep me by His grace. —D. De Haan